|2010's first Teaching Lunch seminar is Jan. 27|
The first On Teaching Lunch seminar this spring is titled, “Writing Letters of Recommendation When You Really Believe in the Candidate (and when you don't).” Sponsored by the Office of Instructional Development and Writing Across the Curriculum, this seminar is open to all UND faculty and will take place from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 27, in the Badlands Room of the Memorial Union.
In this session of On Teaching, we will discuss helpful approaches to thinking about letters of recommendation, and how to write them efficiently. All of us have read (but hopefully not written) poorly constructed letters of recommendation, and we know the negative impact they can have. Vague descriptors? We feel we’re reading a form letter. Too many superlatives? We lose faith. All strengths and no weaknesses? Clearly a mythical creature is being described. The truth is that while being asked to write a letter of support reflects being held in high esteem (your opinion counts), it is a professional obligation that can be incredibly time consuming and surprisingly difficult. What makes a good letter? What does it take to make a student stand out? How can I write a strong letter for a student or a colleague that is appropriately detailed and supportive but honest and doesn’t take forever?
We’ve asked a few faculty members who both fulfill a strong and steady demand for letters, and also spend significant time evaluating them, to come and share their practical advice. We hope you will come and bring your questions and insights as well.
Please register by noon Monday, Jan. 25 to attend and reserve a lunch. Visit the Office of Instructional Development online (http://www.oid.und.edu/) to register. For information contact Jana Hollands at 777-4998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- Anne Kelsch, Director, Office of Instructional Development, email@example.com, 777-4233